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Abstract

A few weeks ago, I was honored to participate in a conversation on “Engaging the Oppressor,” along with freedom fighters from around the world. As they shared their pain, trauma, and steadfast determination, I felt deeply grateful to learn from their brilliance. If you have not yet read their reflections, please turn the page and read them first.

But as I sat down to share some reflections, it did not feel right for me to comment on how members of oppressed groups should engage the oppressor. In the context of Palestine, I am the oppressor: a white Jewish woman, raised in mainstream American Jewish and Zionist institutions, with a long history of travel to and support for Israel. Much of my privilege and power has come at the expense of Palestinian freedom. I decided that the best use of this space might be to share my process of engaging myself. The following text is my attempt to do that. My hope is that this text will serve liberation movements in some small way in the years to come.

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